by: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – The Minotauros season is has undergone quite the turnaround. After starting 1-8-1 the team has improved to 16-14-2 on the season and is tied with the Brookings Blizzard for third place in the Central Division. After this weekend’s split the teams stay that way.
Friday night the Tauros jumped out to an early lead. Collin Abitz scored just 3:18 into the game when he put a shot from the slot past Drew Weigman. Jake O’Borsky had a chance to double the lead for the Tauros late in the first when he was awarded a penalty shot after getting hooked on a breakaway, but he was unable to beat Weigman.
The Blizzard came back however to take a lead in the second Thomas Williams tied the game at one on the power play at 4:54 of the second. Aiden Cavalinni put the Blizzard up 2-1 just three minutes later.
The Tauros tied the game at two when Tim Donohue finished off a nice passing play on a three-on-one break with help from Jake Clifford and O’Borsky. Clifford then got a goal of his own just before the end of the second, when he put a loose puck past Weigman.
Brookings had who had been dominating the shot battle in the first two periods 28-17 continued to do so in the third but did not get much to show for it. Tyler Cayemberg was awarded a penalty shot early in the period but Tyler Parks blockered the attempt away. With the Blizzard down one late Weigman headed to the bench. Donohue hit the empty net for his second goal of the game and the Tauros won 4-2.
Saturday night at the Maysa was Military Appreciation Night, and with 250 free tickets for military personnel the building was packed. Unfortunately for the Tauros fans Brookings came out firing taking a lead just 2:18 in when Cayemberg beat Parks. Eric Brenk added a power play goal at 8:57 to make it 2-0 Blizzard after one. The bad start continued for the Tauros when the Blizzard pushed the lead to 3-0 just 1:17 into the second when Conor Andrle scored. Cameron Rowat finally broke through for the Tauros on the power play midway through the period. Cavalinni answered with his second of the weekend for the Blizzard to push their lead to 4-1. Abitz scored to cut the lead to 4-2, but Cavalinni scored two more goals just 1:38 apart to get the hat trick and push the lead to 6-2. Cavalinni’s second of the night sent Parks to the bench in favor of Ryan Ruck who would stop six of seven shots on the night in relief.
Beau Ricketts scored at the 2:00 mark of the third followed quickly by Paul Sorenson at 4:49 to give the Tauros hope but 6-4 was as close as they would get. Brenk got his second of the night into the empty net
Tauros Three Stars of the Weekend:
1st Star: Collin Abitz, 2 goals, 1 assist, +2
2nd Star: Tim Donohue, 2 goals, 2 assists, +1
3rd Star: Beau Ricketts, 1 goal, 1 assist, +2
Next Up: The Tauros head to Bismarck for a New Years Eve battle with the Bobcats.